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Questions Answered by Brian Waller
1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Why is a divorce case "active" after 10 years?
Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Dec 6, 2022

Most likely it is just an error by the registry unless there has been a recent filing. You could contact the registry for the county where the divorce occurred and ask them to close it, but probably not worth the effort as there is no consequence to the "active" designation if there is no... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: If my child now goes to boarding school, does that effect my weekly payment?

My daughter is going to a boarding school this year. My ex wife and I have split the cost for this. I have a son who lives with my ex wife. Is my weekly payment effected by my daughter now not living with my ex wife?

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Dec 5, 2022

Unfortunately for you, probably not. If your daughter returns to your ex-wife's home for school breaks, that would still likely be considered her primary residence. You could always agree with your ex-wife to reduce the child support payment based on your daughter going to boarding school, but... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: How long does a judge have to sign and file a judgement after a child support hearing in Massachusetts?

My court hearing for child support was 27 days ago yet I still haven’t received the judgement in the mail, neither have the courts or DOR.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Nov 22, 2022

It depends on the type of hearing. If it was a divorce trial where child support was just one of many issues, it would take a few (or more) months. If it was a hearing where DOR was seeking support on the other parent's behalf, it should be much quicker. It also depends on the county you are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Spousal conflict on Adoption: Is Divorce the only solution?

We have been married for 15 years without kids. We tried IVF several times, but it did not work. Now my wife wants to go for adoption, but I am not interested. She is even willing to do it as a single mother. And I am opposed to it primarily because, we don’t know how things will turn out after... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Oct 11, 2022

I am actually not sure whether your wife could adopt a child solely while you are married, but another lawyer with expertise in adoption may be able to answer that.

Regarding an agreement to waive child support, however, that is definitely not possible. The courts view child support as...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: How is the actual duration of marriage duration calculated?

How is the actual duration of marriage duration calculated?

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Sep 21, 2022

Unfortunately, it depends. For purposes of alimony, the duration of marriage is calculated as the date of marriage through the date of service of the Complaint for Divorce. So, if your ex-spouse filed on March 19, 2021, it would be whatever date after that you were actually served with the divorce... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Modification of child custody and child support

Can I modify child custody and support if I went from 5 overnights to 7 overnights plus taking them till 7 at night 4 other nights? And have my kids all day on Sunday while my ex is at work. Yea he only days. Don’t see them are tuesdays and every other Saturday, other then that they are with m... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on May 17, 2022

It sounds like you have a good argument for modification. If you think your ex will retaliate, just be sure you really want to kick the hornet's nest. If your kids are doing well with the current arrangement, it may be worth it to suck it up even though you feel she is taking advantage of you.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: I want to file for child support. Do I need a lawyer for that??

Husband left to PR and hasn't given any support to our son, since he left in 2020.

We are living w/some family and can use the help. How long does it take to file for child support? Thank you

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on May 7, 2022

You would either need to file for divorce or file a Complaint for Separate Support if you do not want to file for divorce.

With either of those, you can file a motion for temporary orders, which would include child support and anything else you would want a judge to address on a temporary...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can wife’s ex-husband just stop paying child support and decide what he’s going to pay? In MA

He said he’s going to stop paying for 21 year old who is going in to her 5th year of full time college. She still resides with us and we pay a 99% of her expenses. He said he’s going to cut child support in half because the have two children. He said he went to lawyer and because he has two new... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Mar 2, 2022

The ex-husband can't unilaterally make changes to child support, no matter the reason. It can only be done via a court order. That court order could be the result of a written agreement by the parties to make changes or from a judge after a hearing, but the ex would be in contempt if he just... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can an unmarried mother of two children request retroactive child support when initially filing for child support?

Seeking retroactive child support back to the date the kids and I moved out. (4-5 years ago). We were never married and he is the father- on the birth certificate of both children.

This is a new child support request. We previously had a verbal agreement for weekly payments that he has not... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Jan 11, 2022

Usually, a retroactive order can only go back as far as the date the opposing party was served with the complaint for child support. If there has never been an order previously, you may have the ability to argue for retroactive support back to the child's date of birth, but it would depend if... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: What can i do is the father violated court orders?

He has supervised visitation at his mother house and his mother is supposed to supervise him on all three days that he has. I texted his mother to confirm to see he was at the home for his visitation but she never text me back i got worried and i check on my daughter ipad location and she wasn’t... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Jan 9, 2022

You should have the police do a wellness check at the grandmother's home and they would document that the child wasn't there. And/or you could also have them do a wellness check at the girlfriend's house to confirm the child is there and who is present. You should also take... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I have to provide information to my child’s father if he hasn’t been in their life for over 6years?

My child’s father has not been in their life for over 6years. During that time I have had them full time with no help from him in any way. He does not pay any child support. He does call about once a month. Recently he has been asking for their information everything from school/medical records... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Jan 9, 2022

I would just add that if you do return to court, you should ask for child support to be ordered. Even if there is no realistic hope of him ever paying, it may be enough of a deterrent to keep him at a distance. There is no connection between custody and child support, so even if he is ordered to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my child support be modified if my income hasn’t changed?

My child support was modified to increase and I never received a court hearing notice nor has my income changed.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Sep 3, 2021

You should first contact the Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division and have them review your account. Sometimes if there is an arrears balance the amount changes. If you have no arrears, it is possible that the timing of the payments got off track somewhere and they needed to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Q: What if I filed a complaint but no answers have come in and it is 35 days now. What do I do now?
Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Jun 7, 2021

If you haven't heard anything from the court yet, I would recommend contacting the Register's office and trying to find out if there is a reason it hasn't been processed.

If you have already served the other party, make sure you have returned the summons to the court and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: If I receive a child support payment that is above the required weekly amount does that mean I need to wait?

He filed bankruptcy so he won't have to pay arrears ($15k+) for like 7yrs. A condition of that is he is required to make each weekly payment($100 -ordered when child was 3 and he's 12 with not one cost of living increase), without fail. Several weeks back, I received an amount over the... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on May 7, 2021

You should contact MA DOR - Child Support Enforcement Division to confirm, but your ongoing payments should not be impacted by any overpayments if there is an arrears balance. Any overpayment should be applied to the oldest outstanding payment. It is possible he received a tax return that was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: I filed for child support online months ago & I still haven’t heard anything or received anything. What’s next?

My daughter is four. Her dad hasn’t paid anything since she was maybe one. Barely sees her. Maybe once a month; some months, never. I’ve never done this before so I don’t know what to do next other than wait. He received something in the mail & did nothing. I still haven’t heard... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on May 3, 2021

If there was a prior order for child support that the dad isn't following, you could file a Complaint for Contempt. If there was no prior order, you would need to file a Complaint to Establish Paternity or a Complaint for Custody Support and Parenting Time.

You can contact the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my son's biological dad go to court for rights and visitation if he isn't in my son's birth certificate?

He never wanted the baby, then i got married and my husband recognized my son as his own, so legally my husband is my son's dad.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Apr 2, 2021

If by legally you mean that your husband adopted your son and your husband's name is on the birth certificate, I don't think the biological father can do anything because he would have been notified about the adoption. If your husband isn't on the birth certificate then the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: I am trying to figure out which state Florida or Mass I will have to go through to end paying child support for my son.

My son is 19 and will be finishing school soon. Child support was started in Florida in 2012 but due there being a paternity file that was started in Massachusetts on 12/2002 the amount of support i pay is based on Massachusetts calculations. So I am not sure if I will need to be going to... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Apr 1, 2021

That is a tough one without looking at the actual order. I would recommend talking to an attorney in Florida if there is an order out of Florida that your child support is based on. It could be that it is enforcing a Massachusetts order, but I think Florida is the right place to start.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I have to submit hair follicle test without prior drug abuse history? These allegations came from parents of my abuse

Paternal g.parents have temp. Guardianship. They accused me of drug abuse for the first time out of 3 or 4 previous hearings. I have never been in trouble or in treatment for drug abuse. The court ordered hair follicle testing. G. Parents have zero proof. My ex claimed on the day of the assault I... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Mar 28, 2021

If you have no history of drug abuse you should just take the hair follicle and then you eliminate that as an issue that can be used in your case. If you are trying to avoid the hair follicle because of what it will show, then there isn't really much you can do if it was already ordered. If... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I want to get to visit mY son. And i wanted to know how i could get the ball rolling. What would i have to do ?

Is there a way i can do this or get visits quick and not have to get a lawyer? Or a lawyer is necessary

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Mar 1, 2021

There is nothing in Probate and Family Court that you absolutely need an attorney for, many people represent themselves. In your situation, you may want to speak with an attorney or even DCF (depending on why there are no visits currently) to understand what you can do to get you closer to having... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I had to file contempt for my ex to provide his financial statement. He has yet to do so. What’s the next step for me?

A week has past since the contempt hearing where the judge verbally told him to provide this info to me.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Feb 10, 2021

In my experience, judges don't have a lot of patience for things that aren't a good use of their time, like having a hearing that doesn't accomplish anything because one party hasn't provided info they were supposed to provide. Judges have a lot of discretion in how they handle... Read more »

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